First of all, happy lawyers do make more money, and once you think about what it is that causes us as lawyers to be happy? it’ll be pretty obvious to you why the net effect? why the byproduct of that causes you to make more money.
Understand clearly, you do the things that make you happy first, then the law firm is more profitable. It doesn’t work the other way around. You don’t like to spend ten years of your life doing work that you’re miserable with for clients who despise, killing yourself, make a bunch of money and then wake up one day and say wow now I’m happy!!
No, that’s not the way it works. The way it works is you build a business, there are seven main parts of every law firm.
– You have to have a business plan. You would never do business with someone if you knew they didn’t have a business plan. You’d never get on an airplane with someone that didn’t have a flight plan.
You never let a doctor operate on you if he or she didn’t have a plan for how they’re gonna do the things that they do.
You need to have a business plan, your business plan needs to address your marketing, your sales, your factory, your physical plant, your people, your money, your metric, your financial controls and of course your mindset, those are your goals. Get those things working for you, and then what happens is your law firm has a predictable consistent flow of prospective new clients coming to you, so you never have to be tempted to take business from someone you shouldn’t be taking business from.
– You’ve got a systemic reliable predictable way of converting prospective clients into paying clients at the right fee, and so you’re never strapped for cash. Then you get your factory working, so that the work flows through the factory and gets delivered to the clients predictably and reliably, without you having to be a slave working 24/7. Because none of us
went to a law school to be a legal secretary, none of us went to law school to be a paralegal. The factory’s got to make sure that the right work gets done by the right people in the right way.
– The physical plant , you got to make sure that all the people that are working on your team whether they’re in-house full-time or part-time or virtual, that they have the right tools the right resources the right surroundings, they’ve got what they need including the right instructions ( That’s a big part of the physical plant are your policies and your procedures, your
written instructions for how you want things done ) when you’ve got that in place, now your factory is under control, which leads to the people every law firm, your law firm, when I had a law firm, it was my law firm, every law firm has
a receptionist, a secretary, a paralegal, an associate, a Rainmaker, a manager, a chief operating officer, a chief financial officer and an owner, every law firm has these positions on staff, even though sometimes some of these positions are going vacant. You know if you’re all by yourself and you’re a solo then you’re doing all of these jobs, these are all the people you got to make sure that the right job is being done there by the right person, if you get to the end of the week and you realize your cash flow sucks, you’re miserable, you’re not professionally fulfilled, you weren’t having fun, you look back and you realize that’s because I spent 20 hours as week doing the job of my own secretary, that’s got to get fixed with your people, which leads to the financials, the budget , the budget variance report, the cash flow projections to bring predictability and control to your law firm. You should know where your revenues are coming from. and what your expenses are going to be every week for about the next six weeks out at all times.
– then last but not least is the mindset, the goals, what are your financial goals? what are your personal goals? What your professional goals?
Get all seven of these main parts of your law firm under control and you’ll have more fun, you’ll make more money, you’ll have more control over your time, you’ll be able to have more confidence in making decisions, short term and long term decisions, you’ll be a happier lawyer, and by the way your law firm will be a lot more profitable.